Tag Archives: Vegetarian Times

♥ Slow Cooker Hominy Soup

I’m happy to report that I am (finally!) a working woman again. I have been fortunate in that I was able to transform my volunteer work into a paid position. To my way of thinking, that makes every paycheck a bonus. Having Fridays off does not suck, either. Yaaah me! 🙂

Now that I’m away from the house during the week, the dinner schedule has drastically changed around here. I’m lucky enough to be off by 4:00 in the afternoon and I live a mere 5 minutes away from my new office. But, when I return to the house, the greyt boys are my first priority (sorry, J!) and not the usual dinner prep work. Luckily, we have just enough daylight left to take a walk down the street to the boys’ favorite hang-out spot.

The meadows adjacent to the lake are chock full of squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, coyote and bear. The greyt boys practically go berserk with all the delightful scents and sights they encounter. And they love to eat snow, which is funny considering that both of our boys spent their racing careers in very hot climates.

The slow cooker has become my best friend since I returned to work. In fact, I think I might be forming an almost-romantic attachment to mine. It’s reliable and it’s dependable and when I return home from walking the dogs after work, it’s waiting for me with a hot, home-cooked meal. I’ve known a lot of men that can’t deliver on those basic desired qualities! Now, if it could only shovel the driveway…

♥     ♥     ♥

Slow Cooker Hominy Soup

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

4 cups yellow and/or white canned hominy, drained and rinsed (alternatively, use 2 cups hominy and 2 cups frozen corn kernels)

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 small zucchini, sliced in halves or quarters

2 small yellow squash, sliced in halves or quarters

2 poblano peppers, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 8-ounce package soy curls (chicken-style seitan works, too), soaked for 15 minutes in filtered water

3 cups vegetable broth

1 14-ounce can tomato sauce or tomato purée (preferred)

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon azafrán or saffron (see note)

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano leaves

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Optional Garnish:

Shredded green cabbage

Diced tomato

Diced avocado

Chopped cilantro

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, zucchini, yellow squash and peppers until crisp-tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. Cut the heat and remove the pan from the burner to cool.

Meanwhile, drain the soy curls and cut into bite-size pieces. Add to the slow cooker with the hominy, vegetable broth, tomato sauce or purée, tomatoes, crushed red chilies, bay leaves, azafrán (saffron), oregano, thyme and salt. Stir in the cooked vegetables and turn the slow cooker to ‘low’. Cook for at 8 to 10 hours. Add the corn the last 30 minutes, if using.

Serving suggestion: place a handful of shredded cabbage in a large soup bowl and ladle the soup over it. Garnish with diced tomato, diced avocado and/or chopped cilantro.

Note: The azafrán (saffron) ingredient won’t make or break this recipe. If you have it on hand, great, but know that buying this costly ingredient for this dish is strictly optional. Myself, I use it liberally because I happen to have a large box of Iranian saffron in my pantry. That’s one of the few perks of being married to a man who deploys to the Persian Gulf (way too) often: care packages from the Spice Souk in Dubai. I’ve been spoiled by having access to some of the world’s best spices at dirt cheap prices.

Can't you almost smell the heavenly aroma of the Spice Souk?!

♥ New And Improved Corned Beef And Cabbage

My boys love corned beef and cabbage. LOVE.  Until we went vegan, I did not share their enthusiasm for this (American) St. Patrick’s Day tradition. I have always found the beef part of the dish too fatty (and salty) for my taste. As far as I was concerned, the oil slick from the brisket just ruined a pot of perfectly good vegetables. But, every year for more years than I care to remember, I sucked it up and made corned beef and cabbage for the boys (now that’s love).

Then we gave up meat – what to do?!

Vegan Dad to the rescue! I read somewhere that Vegan Dad is the “king” of seitan . . . and I cannot argue with that assertion. I used his recipe for vegan corned beef, but I omitted the regular salt and just used 2 teaspoons of Johnny’s No-MSG Seasoning Salt. I also added 1 teaspoon of dill weed and 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black peppercorns to the mix. Vegan Dad says that the crushed sumac berries are optional in this recipe; but trust me, they are not. The sumac berries add something really special to the flavor of this “brisket”.

J–my reformed meat and potatoes guy–prefers this corned beef to “real” corned beef (that once had a face). And now, I like corned beef and cabbage, too.

We enjoyed this feast with whole wheat beer bread . . .

. . . and mashed potatoes with savoy cabbage and malt vinegar, adapted (veganized) from Vegetarian Times.

♥     ♥     ♥

Corned Beef And Cabbage

Ingredients:

1 recipe vegan corned beef (beef-style seitan chunks work in a pinch)

1 large yellow onion, halved then cut into quarters or eighths and separated

5 carrots, cut into thirds and then halved

1 bulb garlic, separated and peeled

1 small head of cabbage, chopped into large chunks (sixths)

4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 cups vegetable broth

16 ounces of stout beer

2 Tablespoons coarse ground mustard

1 Tablespoon horseradish

3 Tablespoons malt vinegar

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 bay leaf

5 Tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 cup vegetable broth

Directions:

Heat a large pot–sprayed with extra-virgin olive oil spray–over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots and garlic cloves until tender.

Whisk the vegetable broth, stout, mustard, horseradish and vinegar in a large measuring glass with the dry seasonings. Add this mixture to the pot along with the bay leaf, parsley and the cabbage.  Simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

Mix the flour with the 1 cup of vegetable broth; add to the pot and stir well. Add more broth (or stout), if necessary. Gently drop the corned beef slices/chunks into the broth. Simmer the mixture 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf before serving.

FYI: the leftover corned beef makes a great Reuben sandwich.